Our development squad are back at home this afternoon to take on Arsenal in Premier League 2. You can watch the London derby live and for free on the 5th Stand App or on this website, kick-off is 12 noon.
Development squad games against Arsenal in recent years have made good viewing, Joe Edwards’ men winning 5-4 in November 2018 being the most memorable – but last season’s meeting was equally as entertaining with Chelsea 3-1 victors at Aldershot. Charlie Brown found the net either side of a Clinton Mola strike to help the Blues earn vital points towards the title.
Defender Levi Colwill speaks well of our opponents but is confident in his team's ability and expects another entertaining derby this time around.
‘Arsenal have always been a good team who produce good players and they have a good identity to how they play - but it’s a London derby, we are going to turn up and play our game, I'm confident we can perform at our best to get a result ,’ Colwill told the official Chelsea website.
‘The derby aspect will add more bite to the fixture and there is that little bit extra to play for on Sunday – games with Arsenal in the past have always been entertaining and I expect the same this weekend.’
Last time out Chelsea suffered our first PL2 defeat in over a year, at the hands of Brighton and although it was tough to take, the 17-year-old insists the team can return to winning ways.
'I feel like it will give the squad a bit of a kick. It’s been a while since we’ve lost and it hurts because we aren’t used to it. We have to keep on working hard and playing our normal way and we will get back to winning ways.
‘Our heads were down and we were frustrated, as we should be. But since being back in training we got straight back to work to prepare for the Walsall and Arsenal games.
‘There have been many occasions when we’ve been down and behind in games but it hasn’t stopped us fighting for results and that was a big reason why we won the league last season. We still have that spirit in us and there’s no reason why we can’t do it again this season.’
The teenager has already featured in five development squad games so far this campaign which equals the number of games at this level last term, and after a prolonged break from the game due to an injury he picked up in February, Colwill feels he still has more to learn playing for the development squad.
‘It’s a lot different to Under-18s football and it’s the closest to men’s football I’ve played. I have less time on the ball and have to move it quickly,’ he explained. ‘It’s more about playing as a team as opposed to showing what you can do individually – I’m still adapting and feel like I’ve got more to learn, hopefully I’ll continue to understand more and more, game-by-game.’
Arsenal are set to be the second visitors to Kingsmeadow in PL2 and the youngster is enjoying having a new place to call home.
‘When we walk in and see the Blue signage and flags everywhere it gives the place a homely feel and a bit of personality. When fans are allowed back in we hope we will get some good support here and turn it into a fortress.'